Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sourcing and storing wood for Winter 2015 - 2016.

This year we had had a colder and wetter Winter than what we normally experience at La Pasera here by the Asturian coast.We are still using the central heating other than on the very few warm and pleasant days when burning a few logs in the evening helps remove what otherwise would be a chill in the air as we relax at home in the evenings. During the day, daytime temperatures can reach into the lower 20 Celsius.

We occasionally are given an old fruit tree from a neighbour's orchard that would supplement the bulk of the wood we buy from a local wood merchants. After several months of firing our log burners in the lounge and the workshop/studio. we have ordered a load of wood that will finish drying over the coming months for us to burn next Winter. We are also expecting another big load over the next few days, a mixture of oak and birch wood that probably we will not start burning until Winter 2016 - 2017. Storing wood this far ahead ensures the logs we burn are dry and burn efficiently.

Over the last few days we have also finished chopping the hazel we coppiced from one of our boundaries and the small branches and twigs we gathered after pruning the fruit tress. This is ideal kindling. Some of the hazels had grown too big shadowing areas and depriving them of light; some of the hazel had not been coppiced since we arrived at La Pasera. Chopping the hazel and twigs for kindling is a job I particularly enjoy at this time of the year when Spring starts to come into life. The robins are never too far with their beautiful song while patiently waiting on a nearby perch to see if there is something for them to feast on.

A special froe traditionally used in Asturias to coppice trees and clear hedges along with a log used as a chopping block are the ideal tools for this job. The use of knee pads is something I would advise using when kneeling on a hard surface for long periods of time.

Now we only need to store and protect from the rain the chopped kindling wood and wait for the hot and drier weather to draw out most of the humidity so that it is sufficiently dried when we come to use it to start the fire. The next load of wood will be stored under cover in readiness for burning in the future.Gawber and Wentworth will certainly appreciate the warmth of the log burner in the workshop during cold Winter evenings.

In the garden, the proliferating daisies and dandelions not only herald the warmer weather but also the need to start cutting the grass after the cold weather. Cutting the grass has been a job we have delayed for a few extra days so that we could empty the compost bins before we start adding fresh grass clipping and organic matter that will guarantee next year's supply of compost. a valuable resource for the vegetable plot. What are you up to in your plot?


  1. Hi. I'm levelling ground and removing stones and bindweed, ready to transplant soft fruit from my old plot. running late, as ever.

    1. Prepararion is hard work but worth the effort. Good luck Marianne.

  2. You look nicely stocked up now! We usually get ours delivered to use two years ahead, cos sometimes you never know if the supposedly two year old wood they deliver actually is that old..... We have barely used our wood burner this winter because of reasons that you know (central heating has cost us a fortune but saved enormously on time), but on the plus side there was no need for a delivery last summer and the resulting back breaking stacking!

    1. Two lots delivered here, one really poor wood the other seems good value although more expensive than the first. We try and stay about two years ahead if we can Mandy.


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